New statistics from Police Scotland have revealed that the message not to risk drink driving has hit home to drivers.

The new lower drink drive limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood came into force on 5 December 2014, bringing Scotland into line with much of the rest of Europe.

During a four week festive Drink Drive campaign from Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) and the Scottish Government, Police Scotland tested 17,504 drivers for alcohol – an average of 625 drivers each day. A total of 351 drivers were caught under the influence this year compared to 434 in the same period last year – a 19 per cent reduction.

Those caught now face the New Year without a licence, a minimum 20-year criminal record and a fine.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said:

“These latest statistics show a 19 per cent decrease in the number of drink drive detections over the festive period which I welcome, and are testament to the immediate effect that the new lower limit has had helping to make our roads not only in Falkirk district but throughout Scotland safer.

“Scotland is leading the way across the UK with the introduction of a lower drink drive limit, which has backing from experts, road safety campaigners and the majority of the public north and south of the border, as well as bringing Scotland into line with almost every other country in Europe.

“We will continue in our efforts to change driver behaviour in order to make our roads safer, and our advice for the year ahead is simple – drink driving is completely unacceptable and puts lives at risk, therefore the best approach is to avoid alcohol altogether if you intend to get behind the wheel.”